RHS set to unearth the nations gardening knowledge with its first ever Dig Together Day (1,5 & 6 September)
Aminopyralid contamination leaves gardens barren for a year
If you have been affected by Aminopyralid contamination you will have to leave the affected ground for at least a year before you can plant in it again. The RHS report says it could be even be two years before the herbicide residue has broken down.
At a time when food prices are rising and the world economies are on the brink of a recession the last thing we need is more depressing news. But it looks like one story is going to keep on running for a while yet. Aminopyralid contamination is now being reported across the country and gardeners are contacting the RHS at a rate of 20 calls per day to report possible contaminations. The RHS are advising people to dig the affected plants back into the soil using a rotorvator or similar, and not to plant any more crops on the ground for a year. The RHS Advice sheet can be viewed here. Dow AgroSciences who are responsible for the manufacture of products containing Aminopyralid have also issued an advice sheet for gardeners affected by this product. Dow AgroSciences Advice. Dow's advice is also to dig the manure into the ground with a rotorvator and not to spread any more manure on land used for food crops. They also go on to say that the chemical should break down very quickly under normal conditions. But not to plant again for another year. The last bit of advice from Dow is to check the sources of manure and confirm they are not using any of their products on the grassland for animals. However some of the contaminations have been the result of hay and straw being imported from other farms, so the advice would seem flawed, in the respect you will have to follow the whole supply chain to find any possible cause for contamination.
Another site started recently to help with the contamination issue is the Aminopyralid.com site. They are calling for people to protest to the environment minister to halt the use of these products, and also for Dow AgroSciences to provide free testing kits to detect contamination in manure. Personally I think this will be a long shot because if you can prove the contamination this would open up Dow AgroSciences to compensation claims from gardeners, so maybe we should find some 'boffin's' to build our own test kit. Let us know on the Social Network if you can help with this.